(Side note: I am so upset that I couldn't think of a single book that sufficiently represented my immense love of England, Scotland or Ireland, the only overseas countries I ACTUALLY want to go to. I have read plenty of them! Brain, DIG THEM OUT.)
1. Wanderlove - Kristin Hubbard
Right off the bat, we're going to start with a book that describes the absolute archetype of everything that makes me react to the word "travel" the way I do. Hot and humid country with gross bugs and unreliable tap water / internet access? Thanks, I hate it! But the thing is, she makes it sound great, and like a fun adventure? I don't even remember how, I just know she does. (antithesis: Carpe Diem)
2. The Indigo Notebook trilogy - Laura Resau
Continuing the theme of things outside my comfort zone -- I would love to visit these little markets and local cultures in Ecuador, Paris and Mexico, respectively.
3. Halfway to the Sky - Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
Nothing has ever made me want to hike on an interstate trail more.
4. Amy & Roger's Epic Road Trip - Morgan Matson
This, of course, to the best of my knowledge, is THE definitive American road trip book. It's been a few years since I read it, maybe it no longer has the same magic...but just thinking about it makes me want to road trip, so...
5. The Summer My Life Began - Shannon Greenland
This just makes me want to travel to B&Bs.
6. Scoop: Notes from a Small Ice Cream Shop - Jeff Miller
This one literally almost made me book a reservation at the B&B (with an obvious side trip to visit the ice cream shop and explore the rest of the tiny town!), until I found out both businesses were under new ownership and I suddenly found myself too sad to face the concept of something that was ending just as I found it.
7. Misty of Chincoteague - Marguerite Henry
PONY-PENNING DAY. THE END. (Actually, this one might also awaken the time-travel bug in me, because I can't imagine that being anywhere near as fun and casual and community-oriented now as it would have been in the 40s, or even 60s. But it does still make me want to go and visit the museum where Misty is held)
8. Just Horses
An unusual one in that it's not a novel -- but this book is essentially a photoessay, published in 2000 and featuring pictures of horses, their owners and general horse country across the massively varied United States. I just feel like very few books have encapsulated the sense of Americana so well.
9. Girl Last Seen
This might seem like a strange one, but just the way this small-town/rural Minnesota community is described, it makes me want to visit there, particularly around the time this book takes place (late March...when everything is still cold and bleak and snowy as heck, but somehow you can feel spring is around the corner, about to come to life, so you still appreciate ducking into the warm indoors, but not feel miserably like it will never end). I want to walk on the trails by endless country roads and visit the tiny main street and inevitable coffee shop. There are tons of places like this within an hour's drive, or even less.
10. Hoofbeats on the Trail - Vivian Breck
Planning my horseback and/or hiking trail vcation in the Sierras in 3...2...
BONUS because literally when am I ever going to have occasion to reference a cookbook again:
11. Big Sky Cooking - Meredith Brokaw
In between recipe sections are short essays about the glory of Montana, and let me tell you, the urge to somehow spend like a month or a summer out on a ranch in this state I've never been to is HIGH. It makes it sound like all those romanticized notions you have about The West? All true, alive and well today.
BONUS NO. 2 BECAUSE I'M ON A ROLL:
12. The Stylist's Guide to NYC
"A guide to interior stylist Sibella Court's favorite stores, markets, boutiques, galleries, and eateries in New York City, divided into sections such as "Jewelry & Hardware," "Haberdashery & Handmade," and "Oddities & Curiosities," and complete with full-color photographs, maps, indexes, and descriptions." A 2011 book getting more out of date by the year, but which I literally bought to take a vicarious trip to New York City thrift stores by perusing its pages: